Mismatched kink, sexual incompatibilities, divisive desires—whatever you want to call it—there’s nothing wrong with it, and there are more than enough ways therapists and counselors can help their clients get over these hurdles.
Despite physical, mental, or spiritual connections, it’s completely normal for partners to be incompatible in the bedroom. That said, media depictions of “healthy” relationships often represent couples who find one another attractive and immediately know all the right things to say and do during intercourse, leaving out all the awkward, uncomfortable moments that might happen during an authentic encounter. In turn, this makes real-world couples feel “broken,” as they search for the reasons why things aren’t quite working out.
Kink incompatibilities play out differently across the entire spectrum of relationships, but it’s up to both partners to understand their role to reach healthy boundaries that don’t eliminate play altogether.
As a therapist, first, you’ll want to assure your clients that this is not a cause for concern. Kink incompatibilities are entirely normal at the beginning of new relationships, and they can even become prevalent in long-term relationships, as each partner transforms over the years.
Like most challenges within sexual partnerships, the best place to start is with communication. I often work with clients who are both submissive. When each partner is used to being lead in the bedroom, it can feel impossible for either one to step out of their comfort zone and say exactly what they want.
Communication is the foundation. And your clients will soon notice that once they take the time to express their desires with one another outside of the bedroom, it helps both of them understand boundaries to ensure a safe and healthy experience.
When there’s a line of communication, partners start to feel more open to trying things they might have never even considered, especially when their partner is expressing that this is something they enjoy.
When there is kink incompatibility in a relationship, it’s going to take time for both partners to find common ground. This part is essential for your patients to understand. One night will not level the playing field. Each partner has to ease into their role, checking in with one another to make sure that each experience has been comfortable.
Flexibility & Understanding
Perhaps some things will just never work? That’s ok, too! Each partner should be willing to compromise some of their desires, working to find a balance that allows each person to get a piece of what they want—without crossing any boundaries.
When your clients have tried to make it work, but the pieces just aren’t fitting together correctly, it may be time for them to step away from the relationship.
However, this depends on how prevalent sex is in their lives. For some people, having an enriching sexual experience is a core part of their being. For others, it’s not that important. Your patients will have to be honest with themselves about how big of an impact this will make on their lives.
That said, some kink incompatibilities simply can’t be resolved. For example, if one partner has the desire to be with multiple partners at one time, and the idea of this causes pain or anguish for the other partner, this may be a difference that’s not reconcilable.
Once your client is ready to open up to a new relationship, they’ll have a better idea of their boundaries—where the lines are blurred & the types of kink they simply can’t accept.
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